Upholstery options, fabric choices abound
Cindy W. Hodnett -- Furniture Today, October 13, 2012
In many showrooms, the increased product lines correspond with simplified
"We have high expectations for both companies based on reaction at Premarket," said Sandi Teague, director of merchandising for Hooker Upholstery. "Sam Moore is doubling the offering of sofas this market, and Bradington-Young has a major effort in the recliner category with an emphasis on swivel glider recliners. Seven Seas will continue to build on the success of more fashionable leathers in the stationary and recliner categories."
Craftmaster is unveiling Urban Elements, a new modern collection, in a 15-room setting. Company President Roy Calcagne said that the response at Premarket was exactly what company officials were hoping to see and paves the way for Craftmaster's entry into a new category.
"We renovated our showroom to accommodate and show this collection," Calcagne said. "I think it's the last piece of the puzzle for our company because we haven't been known for our fashion-forward design, but this takes us into the modern category. At Premarket, the response was ‘Wow! We didn't expect to see this at Craftmaster!' We were floored by the positive comments."
The HGTV Home collection includes a new selection of body cloths, as well as a pre-merchandised accent pillow program. Twelve new SKUs include a sofa, loveseat, chair and ottoman, and a selection of accent chair fabrics is offered in 75 handles.
"A lot of our body cloths have sheen this market, and any body cloth with action to it has great perceived value," said Kena Lenard, vice president of upholstery development and design for Bassett, which produces the HGTV line. "We're offering pre-merchandised packages to make it easy for the retailer to offer different looks."
One of Kincaid's new offerings is sofas with Sunbrella slip covers. Tailored and featuring zippers and Velcro, the line offers buyers the potential of increased sales when consumers update or refresh their interior décor. Kincaid's custom select program also provides upholstery diversity to buyers by offering the option of five arms, four backs, four bases and two depths.
"We're introducing a contemporized style that is a twist on a wing sofa," said Melony Hughes, director of upholstery merchandising for Kincaid. "And we'll have four settings with Sunbrella slip covers."
Miles Talbott plans a big expansion in the Sunbrella offerings in its upholstery lineup as well. And at sister company Michael Thomas, President Thomas Jordan is remaining mindful of what has been successful in the past.
"People expect to be dazzled by intricate details at Michael Thomas, and we try very hard not to disappoint!" said Jordan. "With taped skirts, skirt banding and appliqués, I think they will be pleased. Miles Talbott continues to push the envelope on soft, casual elegance, especially with some of the new Sunbrella indoor-outdoor, use-anywhere covers."
Many companies are building on past product success with reinterpretations of buyer favorites. Some are redesigning classic silhouettes to reflect the trend toward casual and modern, while others are adding functional, runway-inspired fabrics and leathers.
"Thomasville's upholstery for this market focuses on expanding our fabric correlation offerings to allow for easier selling at retail," said Jane Roberts, upholstery merchant for Thomasville. "Retailers will also see additions to our custom leather assortment with more novelty and color additions."
"Modern elements touch every collection this season, whether it's a track arm transitional sectional, a mid-century themed tufted sofa or a unique pierced taper foot. It has to have a modern feel," said Paul Peters, Broyhill's product portfolio director for upholstery. "Accent color is definitely more vibrant this season and our presentation will reflect fresh color-blocked neutrals."
Younger Furniture's introduction was designed to solidify the company's position as a modern style leader. Inspired by mid-century furniture, the Avenue 62 collection is a creative, edgy interpretation of the iconic style, and Younger's president, Meredith Spell, sees it as a valuable tool in brand expansion efforts.
"For the past six months or so, we have had a good increase in incoming business," Spell said. "Our main strategy to increase business right now is to really define our brand and our style. With Avenue 62, our largest and most original collection ever to be introduced at market, we hope to get a look from retailers we have not been able to break into in the past. We hope the collection will help us define our brand and our style and turn some heads."